How long do we have to wait this time?

cannes2009Cannes Film Festival / UGC Cinemas :: France :: 2009

After the Champagne sipping, backslapping and air kissing is all over on the picturesque Mediterranean and the film producers, sellers, models, journalists, actors, and wannabes have all returned to their respective polluted metropolises, the audience is once again left in bewilderment. Surely this is all about us in some way or another? When do we get to see Haneke’s masterpiece?

Cinema loving France, including yours truly, is feeling the chill once again. UGC,  Europe’s largest cinema operator, announced that the winner of the 62nd Festival de Cannes, The White Ribbon, will be screened as of the 21st October 2009. In case you missed that, that is in five months time! This may be slightly faster than after previous festivals (remember l’Enfant?) but seriously, is that the best they can do? All the buzz of the moment will be distant whispers by the time the audience gets back from a long hot summer. Every year has a winner, surely some planning is possible?

One of the beauties of cinema is its power to share- a million copies of the same film can be made and watched all around the world at the same time. We live in a digital era where if a member of the public gets their hands on a copy, it can be distributed through an internet peer to peer system and be available worldwide instantly. The professional bodies of film producers, distributors and buyers are nowhere near such efficiency. They need to learn a lesson from the world’s teenagers to get their distribution in order. Reading raving reviews of new film is exciting, but considerably less so if you are left outside staring at the poster.

UGC, Allociné, Festival de Cannes



  1. Well, actually… I just looked through the history of the winners, and there are a lot of seriously good films on that list. The Palme d’Or is probably still the best prize in Cinema, but of course cinema criticism has a very subjective side to it in its evaluation. Last year I would not have given the prize to “Entre les Murs” (The Class) for example, but I do think we should be able to judge for ourselves. And on top of that, this year the jury was presided by my favourite actress: Isabelle Huppert! Surely you would consider her opinion in film worth something, non?

  2. Isabelle Hupert n’a pas spécialement ma faveur.
    J’ai vu quelques palmes d’or récemment : Orpheus Negra, L’anguille.
    Je pense qu’il y a un certain snobisme dans les choix. Qui sommes-nous pour juger ? Des hommes et des femmes, comme ceux qui attribuent les prix. Au cinéma, je suis l’incarnation du public moyen.
    Si mon opinion en tant que telle n’a aucune valeur, cela rejoint exactement mon propos : il y a un certain snobisme, certains diraient “élitisme”, dans les choix.

  3. I should hope so! If the jury was seeing films for the first time, they would be impressed by anything! Snobism is a good thing for a film jury, it is supposed to be composed of people who have seen films before, have some background knowledge and developed their own opinion. Rewarding a standard production (such as Anges et Demons) would be silly. The film has to contribute something to the cinema landscape and/ or culture in general.
    I haven’t seen The Eel, but then often anything Japanese or French seems snobby from the outset… no seriously… your opinion (or mine) has a worth in making the film a success or not. I’m still traumatised by Dancer in the Dark’s final scene, something I no doubt could have missed if Cannes hadn’t rewarded Von Trier for it…

  4. Haven’t seen Orpheus Negro, but it’s really old by now. I’ll take your word for it and skip it… or maybe not… and feel disappointed myself as well…

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